Friday, April 25, 2014

My poor aching skull !

Hiya gang,
How would you like to take a look inside a Hollywood Gorilla ?
Feast your eyes on the skeletal remains of one of our favorites....White Pongo !

Looking every bit like a medieval torture device, this steel, wood, ivory and leather monstrosity was the base for the sculpted leather visage of Pongo himself !

The mechanism here was genius. All self contained and operated by the wearer.
The two large bent metal rods that circle the teeth, are the lift bars to raise the lips into a vicious snarl.

 These bars have a hinge joint at the back that allow the lift bars to move up and down when the rearmost part of the rods are pulled by the opposite jaw. The upper jaw moves the lower lip, and the lower jaw moves the upper lip. All this action happens smoothly simply by the wearer opening his own mouth !

Directly above the upper gums, you'll see two oddly bent wires. These are the nostril dilators.notice that the rear part of the wires are soldered to small, flat, pieces of steel.  When the wearer smiles broadly, his cheeks press outward on these dilators. This causes the two ends to move away from each other. When attached to the nostrils of the ape face, this causes the nostrils to open wider as if he is sniffing something.

Of interest is the remains of the tongue. It is made of soft leather, with the rough side out, then stuffed with padding. Then it is painted and lacquered to make it look shiny and wet.

There ya have it, it's easy to see why old Pongo is so grumpy !
If you had that thing on your head, you'd be grumpy too !

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